The Effect Of Music On Performance Of

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The Effect Of Music On Performance Of A Task Essay, Research Paper An Experimental Psychological Study The Effect of Music on Performance of a Task Mark Hunter November 2000 Abstract In order to investigate whether music affected performance of a task, and experimental technique was used, variables were manipulated and data recorded. The aim of this study was to investigate whether different music styles affected the performance of a task. It was a novel experiment, only loosely based on previous research dating back to the 19th century. The method involved three groups of participants undertaking a test (solving thirty anagrams). One group had fast music in the background, one had slow music and the third performed it in silence. The participants were primarily selected via

a systematic sample, but this would have been changed to an opportunity sample had some participants not turned up. It was hypothesised that there would be significant differences between a) fast and slow music, b) fast and no music and c) slow and no music. A two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test at a significance level of p=0.05 revealed that all three alternative hypotheses were accepted and null hypotheses rejected. The data collected illustrated that having slow music playing in the background improved performance of the task compared to performing it in silence, while fast music worsened performance. The implications of this study, its limitations and suggestions of follow up studies will be further discussed. Contents Page One-Introduction Page Two-Introduction Page

Three-Hypotheses Page Four-Hypotheses Page Five-Method Page Six-Method Page Seven-Method Page Eight-Results Page Nine-Results Page Ten-Results Page Eleven -Results Page Twelve-Graph One Page Thirteen-Discussion Page Fourteen-Discussion Page Fifteen-Discussion Page Sixteen-Discussion Page Seventeen-Conclusion Page Eighteen-Conclusion Page Nineteen-Appendix I Page Twenty -Appendix II Page Twenty One-Appendix III Page Twenty Two-Appendix IV Page Twenty Three-Appendix V Page Twenty Four-Appendix VI Page Twenty Five-Appendix VII Introduction Social influence describes how other people around us can influence our actions. It is especially relevant in situations where groups of people are performing a task together, as discovered by Triplett in one of the first social influence

experiments, conducted in 1898. He found that when children were asked to spin a fishing reel, it was spun faster when they were performing in groups than on their own. This effect was termed ’social facilitation’, as the presence of others appeared to help, or facilitate, the person performing the task. This idea was also supported by Allport (1920), who demonstrated that college students performing multiplication tests also worked faster alongside other students. But there is an opposite side to social facilitation – social loafing. This describes the process whereby when in a group, an individual puts less effort into a task. Latane, Williams and Harkins (1979) demonstrated this to good effect when they found that when children were asked to be noisy, they were more

quiet when they were in the group and were louder on their own. Another factor that could affect performance of a task is music. From Beethoven to the Bee Gees, music has had an impact on most of us somewhere in our lifetime. It is only comparatively recently however that it has become seriously analysed and tested in different situations in order to recognise its true effects. Many of us have at some time associated a song or piece of music with an event or situation in our lives, whether good or bad, and on hearing it again can recall feelings and emotions of that situation. It is also deeply representative of individual cultures and by listening to the music of a certain culture, we can learn a great deal about it. Its diversity is huge – the Internet itself has nearly